Has the human species been able to emerge from the Darwinian World with the struggle for survival successfully negotiated so that we can stabilise and co-exist with other species upon which we depend for our mutual survival or, have we overshot the point where our indiscriminate destruction of other species, upon which our continuing survival depends, passed the point of no return, and we are to follow those extinct species into oblivion, making way for a replacement species?

Of course nobody can accurately answer this question at the present time but, the fact that it can even be asked shows that it is a relevant question. Nor even the parallel question of whether we are the only species ever to have been instrumental in facing possible extinction by destroying those species upon which our survival depends? A form of collective suicide.

Up to the time that we survived because we adapted to the existing dangers of other, and more dangerous, predators which was probably several thousand years ago we were fulfilling a role seemingly common to all species in Nature but, once our position as Nature’s dominant species was assured, what should our strategy have been? Are all dominant species in Nature doomed for eventual extinction because there is no mechanism to evaluate what strategy is needed to remain in existence just as there is no mechanism for any human agency to guarantee perpetual existence.

The facts, seen in hindsight, show that although the Planet’s seemingly most intelligent species, we are not sufficiently intelligent to see that by exterminating other species and uncritically changing the composition of Nature we will eventually undermine the security of our own species.

Tracking along a time line as yet not historically defined, human actions conformed to Darwin’s theory, there followed an unwitting destruction of other species which was followed by an irrational destruction to a time of even wantonness which continues to this day co-existing with a partial form of denial.

Have we gone too far by crossing a line of no return? Or is there a mechanism, as yet undiscovered or not attempted for pulling back from the brink? Some drastic action as yet not even expressed or even thought of?

To address this question we have to examine the processes that brought us to even have to ask it. We can start with farming which has to sustain us all. There is no intention here to write an essay on what has gone wrong but to point out that our present agro-chemical intensive farming method is a considerable contributory factor in the many culprits. Then there is our use of Industrial products like the motor car, plastic and fossil fuel for the creation of energy. We applaud ourselves for our ingenuity in being able to wrest these products from the offerings of Nature but are totally unable to assess their overuse on the provider, Nature and, of course, eventually us. We pollute the seas, we pollute the air, we degrade the richness of the soil – all the things our continued existence depend on. Are we as a species really worth saving?

Of cause as a human one must answer ‘yes’ – we want another chance. But Nature, I should think, is indifferent to all this. We have had our chance and blown it; move on and, as to what or who will come next will emerge in due time.

It is not as though we have not had prior warning of what can evolve, there have been warning after warning, all either ignored or inadequately addressed. It is possible that the present CORVID-19 pandemic is a bigger and possibly, a final warning that time is up unless we change more than most people can imagine and possibly more than many of us can live with.

If this is the case such drastic changes could result in one of the greatest cullings Or was that of the dinosaurs which didn’t succeed? Because it seems obvious now, in hindsight, that without changing our ways we are destined to disappear from the Planet as a species. But humans are a product of Nature and Nature’s overarching limits not understood and probably never fully will be by humans. But, because the present COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change our ways to defend ourselves from its spread – the consequences of our actions have given pause for reflection, even in the midst of the pandemic..

It is not as though we have had no prior warnings of the progress of such threats – plagues have been a constant throughout human history, but the frequency of such pathogen borne plagues seems to have increased over the past hundreds of years – so the question has to be asked that if a species like our own after having carried out random extinction of a layer of Nature including some mammals, some plants, some trees has now triggered a reaction by which Nature, to release another level such as microbes, viruses, pathogens, only reacts to defend or correct the imbalance caused by our actions?

Group behaviour has brought us to the present situation our species is in and the way through will depend on how we can mobilise to reverse those procedures that have to be reversed and substituting them for procedures totally in harmony with the demands of Nature. And what are these demands of Nature? And how long have we got? Possibly the answer can be summarised in respecting Nature, interpreting what it is this respect implies and living within these parameter. Not an east task for a dominant species.

Somewhere, someone or some leaders will have to decide the degree of sacrifice the human race must make for its further continuation within the framework of an evolving Nature.

The Industrial Revolution, lauded as a breakthrough to free up human dependency on the use of animals and fellow humans for the necessary muscle power can now be looked on as having been misused to the point of our present pathway to self-destruction.

The opportunity of the Enlightenment where religious beliefs were subordinated to a form of rational reasoning obviously failed when a constant return to these religious beliefs occurred, driven by society’s repeated failures to free itself of wars based on the tribal instincts of fear.

By mentally and intellectually outstripping our fellow creatures on the Planet we have not been able to square this progress with a similar progression in dealing with our senses and motivations, either singly or collectively nor have we been able to transfer our need for some form of religion into parallel spiritual dimensions because, if there is a purpose in life, we must be held to some account.

14th August 2020

to be continued